4 players Jaguars can’t afford to lose to injuries in 2021

Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Jacksonville Jaguars [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]
Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Jacksonville Jaguars [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union] /
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Jacksonville Jaguars
DE Josh Allen #41 and OG Andrew Norwell #68 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) /

Josh Allen is the Jacksonville Jaguars’ best pass-rusher.

The Jaguars revamped their secondary this offseason but they also fortified their defensive front. They signed Jihad Ward and Roy Robertson-Harris in free agency. They also brought back Dawuane Smoot and Adam Gotsis. All these are fine players but the team’s best EDGE rusher is Josh Allen. The Jags will need the 2019 first-round pick to be fully healthy this upcoming season if they want to consistently pressure opposing quarterbacks.

In 2020, Allen missed eight games with a knee injury and he wasn’t himself when he was on the field, logging just 2.5 sacks after posting 10.5 the year before. Defensive coordinator Joe Cullen recently spoke to the local media and said he believes the team can double their sack totals from last season. The former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator will run a defense with 3-4 and 4-3 elements but regardless of the alignment, Allen will be the team’s top pass-rusher.

K’Lavon Chaisson should improve considerably in 2021 after showing flashes last season. He could have a breakout season but even if he does, the Jags will need Allen. Who is behind the Kentucky product on the depth chart? The team drafted Jordan Smith in this year’s selection meeting but the UAB product is a project and may not be ready to play in the NFL yet. Smoot led Jacksonville in sacks last season but he’s not the player Allen is.

Ward and Robertson-Harris will play a key role in the Jaguars’ defensive line rotation but neither has registered more than three sacks in a season. Jacksonville’s defense might be able to hold the fort if Allen is out but they won’t be nearly as effective without him.